The newly-established Wi-Fi Forum of South Africa held its inaugural conference in Johannesburg, South Africa on 12 March 2015. According to the forum, the organisation will essentially play an active and positive role in the development of the Wi-Fi industry in South Africa.
At the event, the speakers included: Dr Siyabonga Cwele (Minister of Telecommunications and Postal Services), Andile Ngcaba (Convergence Partners and Dimension Data), Ton Brand (Wireless Broadband Alliance) as well as other industry and regulatory experts.
At the Inaugural event, Minister of Telecommunications and Postal Services, Dr Siyabonga Cyprian Cwele stated that: “Wi-Fi should be a right to all South African citizens, and not just the privileged.”
Following up this statement Chairman Andile Ngcaba stated: “We currently need over 5 Million hotspots in order to have reasonable Wi-Fi coverage within South Africa. If local shop owners can equip their stores with a Wi-Fi hotspot, that offers carrier grade service, they can not only provide the community with internet connectivity – but also see a return on investment within 6 months. The only way we can do this is if traders on the street invest in Wi-Fi connectivity not only for their business, but also the community at large.”
Speaking during the conference, Zolani Matebese from the City of Johannesburg, revealed that Johannesburg could possibly switch on an additional 1000 Wi-Fi hotspots by 2016. This is the initial goal; however, 5 million hotspots have been projected for the year 2030 in South Africa.